My journey becoming a Unity game developer: Beginning Cutscene-Composing the Shots

Objective: Setup the virtual cameras to each position according to the Director’s storyboard notes.

As we look at the Director’s notes, they want us to start composing the shot with Darren sliding down the rope behind the glass case display. On the second shot, they want us to show Darren landing on the floor from the opposite direction.

We will use the same techniques to setup the camera’s positions for each cinema shot. In the Scene View, position the scene’s view behind Darren above him about to slide down the rope as is shown in the storyboard’s picture. Create a virtual camera by going to Cinemachine->Create Virtual Camera, and rename the camera Darren Down Rope.

Virtual camera positioned to capture Darren sliding down the rope.

We want the virtual camera to focus on Darren sliding down, therefore go to Actors->Darren and drag the game object to the Look At setting. Change the Body setting to Do Nothing, and under the Aim setting we will adjust the Dead and Soft Zones, plus the Tracked Object Offset if needed to place Darren in the scene to match the storyboard.

Virtual camera Aim setting fixed on Darren.

Now let’s organize these game objects by creating a new game object name Intro Cutscene which will hold all of the game objects for the cutscene itself. Make sure to zero out the Transform positions, and create another empty game object name CM Virtual Cameras which will hold all of the virtual cameras in the cutscene. Set the Transform positions to zero as well, and drag this object into the Intro Cutscene object. Also, drag the Darren Down Rope virtual camera into the CM Virtual Cameras object. Last, drag the Actors game object into the Intro Cutscene object which will now have all the game objects created so far for this cutscene.

Intro Cutscene and CM Virtual Cameras game objects created to help with organization.

Next virtual camera that we need to create is the camera that will show Darren landing on the floor from the Security Guards point of view. After creating the virtual camera with the name Darren Drops Down, drag Darren object from the Actors object into the Look At setting. Set the Body setting to Do Nothing and use the Aim settings to adjust the camera to . Last, drag the Darren Drops Down camera into the CM Virtual Cameras object.

Virtual camera positioned to capture Darren landing on the floor.

Next scenes in the storyboard want the cameras to show hiding, but looking for help from his partner and a camera to rise above the glass case to see the security guards patrolling the area.

A virtual camera name Darren Side Shot which will pan towards Darren will be created and positioned near the second case facing Darren hiding behind the display case. Since Darren isn’t placed in the scene yet, set the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing at this moment.

Virtual camera positioned to capture where Darren will be hiding.

The next virtual camera will be positioned to rise above Darren’s shoulder to show where the security guards are located at while on their patrol. Name it CM Rise to Reveal and set the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing as well. Drag game object into the Intro Cutscene.

Virtual camera positioned to rise above Darren’s shoulder to see where the guards are located.

The next two storyboard pictures want us to show shots showing all the display cases and Darren hiding behind the case talking to his partner.

This virtual camera will be positioned to rise from the floor and show all of the display cases. Name this camera CM Rise from Marble Floor and set the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to rise from the marble floor to see the merchandise.

Another virtual camera is created to show Darren through the glass case hiding from his front side position. Name it CM Darren Under Dressed after his line in the storyboard, and set Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to show Darren hiding through the display case.

Next scenes in the storyboard shows Darren hiding still, but looking for the security guards and the position of each security guard on patrol.

Create another new virtual camera name CM Darren sees Guards, and change the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag the object into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to show Darren hiding behind glass looking for the guards.

This new virtual camera is created to show the security guards patrolling the area. Name this camera CM Look at Guards, and change the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag this camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to see the guards patrolling.

The storyboard want us to show the security cameras in place, and Darren still hiding looking for help.

A virtual camera created to show the security cameras on the columns covering the area. Name it CM Look at Security Cameras, and change the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag this camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to look at the security cameras.

Next virtual camera created will show Darren behind the case across from him communicating with his partner. Name this CM Darren Anything Else from the notes, and change the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag this camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to show Darren communicating with partner on how to get to the vault.

The storyboard next pictures show the security guard’s desk across the hall, and the guards security card close up.

Create another virtual camera, and name it CM Security Card. Position the camera to focus on the security card close up. Under the Sleeping Guard game object, drag the Card object into the Look At setting. Change the Body setting to Do Nothing, and Aim settings to focus on the card itself. Drag this camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to show sleeping guard’s security card.

The last set of pictures from the storyboard shows the vault itself, and Darren peeking through the glass case.

Next to last virtual camera created will show the vault from the security guards desk. Name it CM Vault, and change the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag this camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to show the vault.

Last virtual camera created will be placed to show Darren behind the case ready to make a decision on what he will do next. Name it CM Darren End for the final shot in this cutscene. Change the Body and Aim settings to Do Nothing. Drag this camera into the Intro Cutscene object.

Virtual camera positioned to show where Darren will make his final decision on what to do.

Now that all the virtual cameras are in place, we can focus on the next step which is creating cinematic cuts using the Timeline and animation to begin animating our virtual cameras for each shot.

Learning to become a Unity game developer.